Chinese promotion, Wu Lin Feng (WLF) returned to Zhengzhou, Henan in China on January 14, to kick-start the year with the WLF World Championship 2017.
However, WLF is fast becoming an expected source of controversy and erroneous decisions in world kickboxing and didn’t fail to deliver a good dose of shocking results yet again.
Yi Long was recently coming off (arguably) the most controversial decision win of 2016 against, Buakaw Banchamek at the WLF World Championship 2016; and yet again in controversial circumstances, won by decision against Marco Piqué. Pique, regarded as something of a Muay Thai maestro, had started slow and although he eventually picked up the tempo as the rounds progressed, the slow start and low volume striking combos, didn’t do him any favours either.
Nevertheless, the world’s most famous fighting monk (Long) had been knocked down in the second round and was clearly rocked. Shockingly, the referee would allow the fight to continue despite the obvious knock-down. Had Long been given a count by the referee then the outcome would surely have been different – even a draw wouldn’t have been as controversial as this dodgy decision win for Long.
If one controversial decision wasn’t enough for the night, Enriko Kehl was also made to realise that unless you deliver a clean knockout to stop your opponent, the WLF judges cannot be relied on for an impartial decision. Despite hurting Shamil Gasanbekov with some devastating knees in the first round from which, Gasanbekov was able to continue. Kehl seemed to have done enough in the following two rounds to have secured a decision victory in the final of the WLF 70kg Tournament. However, Gasanbekov was inexplicably declared the winner by the judges, evoking an outburst of emotion and (over the top) celebration by the Russian.
Both Kehl and Gasanbekov and put on a good technical showing, however, the decision in-favour of Gasanbekov is the kind of nonsense that unfortunately leads to the rest of the world questioning the integrity of China as a sporting nation. When in actual fact, such question’s need to be aimed solely at WLF instead of a nation which, has had a tremendous influence on the sport’s resurgence on a global scale.
Controversial decisions aside though, Adrian Maxim became the new WLF 63kg 8-man Tournament champion and was simply too powerful for Zhao Fuxiang who, wasn’t able to recompose himself after a couple of powerful blows to the face, in the first round of the final. Maxim might not be as cavalier or slick-moving as some of the other participants on the night but what he did do was show was that a tight guard along with, resilience, patience and grit can take you a long way; especially in an 8-man tournament where the likes of Jin Ying are trying to kick your head off (and move around the ring a hell of a lot too).
On a separate note, Maxim will certainly make an interesting variable as one of the participants in another 8-man tournament on, the upcoming GLORY Kickboxing: Road to Glory event in the UK on March 11.
Wu Lin Feng (WLF) World Championship 2017 – Results:
Oleg Primachev def. Hao Guanghua by Rd1 KOFang Bian def. Berat Aliu by decision
Fang Bian def. Berat Aliu by decisionYi Long def. Marco Piqué by decision
Yi Long def. Marco Piqué by decisionKaew Weerasakreck def. Wang Pengfei by decision
Kaew Weerasakreck def. Wang Pengfei by decisionXie Lei vs. Yuta Kubo by decision
Xie Lei vs. Yuta Kubo by decisionSun Weiqiang def. Saiyok Pumpanmuang by decision
Sun Weiqiang def. Saiyok Pumpanmuang by decision
WLF 70kg 4-man Tournament – Results:
Shamil Gasanbekov def. Enriko Kehl by decision – Final
Shamil Gasanbekov def. Jiao Fukai – Semi-final
Enriko Kehl def. Farkhad Akhmejanau – Semi-final
WLF 63kg 8-man Tournament – Results:
Adrian Maxim def. Zhao Fuxiang by Rd1 TKO – Final
Zhao Fuxiang def. Tamerlan Bashirov by decision – Semi-final
Adrian Maxim def. Jin Ying by decision – Semi-final
Tamerlan Bashirov def. Liu Wei by Rd2 KO – Quarter-finals
Zhao Fuxiang def. Joey Baylon by decision – Quarter-finals
Jin Ying def. Joan Canaveral by decision – Quarter-finals
Adrian Maxim def. Wang Zhiwei by decision – Quarter-finals